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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Death
John Goodman Isn’t Dead — A fake news story about the death of actor John Goodman raced around the internet today. It's hard to understand why people believed this for a second, since the story was filled with spelling mistakes and bad grammar. Here's a sample: LOS ANGELES, California (AP) - Actor John Goodman, star of such hits as Monsters Inc and Beyond the Sea, found dead today in his home. Cause of death is not known. Recently seen in the Kevin Spacey epik Beyond the Sea, Goodman was deemed in fine health…
Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2005.   Comments (12)

Aicha Kid Suicide Video — One of the many random viral videos that floats around the internet is this 'Aicha Kid Video' that shows a skinny teenager singing and dancing to the song 'Aicha'. But before you click on the link to see the video, first read about the urban legend that accompanies the video, because I think it makes the video itself much more interesting. According to the UL, there's an 'uncut' version of this video, and in this uncut version... well, this poster from ebaumsworld summarizes it better…
Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2005.   Comments (192)

Countdown to Oblivion — This attracted quite a bit of attention (relatively speaking), but I only found out about it today, once it was revealed to be a hoax. It was a Countdown-to-Suicide Journal on LiveJournal: My name is Jerry Romero, and I am 23 years old. If you have found this journal, it is through your own actions. I will not comment on other entries in an attempt to make friends. I am leaving this in the hands of Fate and no-one else. This journal was created solely for the purpose of providing one…
Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2005.   Comments (17)

Is Jim Morrison Alive? — Most people think the musician Jim Morrison, lead singer for the Doors, died in Paris on July 3, 1971. But Gerald Pitts says that he "discovered Jim Morrison Living on a Ranch in the Pacific Northwest in the summer of 1998." According to him, Morrison is living a quiet life as an American cowboy "away from the Hollywood scene." Even though Morrison evidently engineered an elaborate death hoax to escape publicity, he agreed to appear on film for Pitts. You can buy a copy of this film…
Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2005.   Comments (1942)


Lava Lamp Explodes — I saw this story on the news last night: lava lamp explodes and kills man. It's definitely a candidate for the Darwin Awards, but it also sounds a bit like an urban legend (Big Gary wrote asking 'Can a lava lamp really kill someone? Have I been foolish to turn my back on my lava lamp?') It's been pretty widely reported, so I have to assume the story is true. And I could also imagine that if you heat a lava lamp on top of a stove, it could explode, and if you're really unlucky a shard…
Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2004.   Comments (22)

Terminal Tours — Terminal Tours provides a service for those who are near death or just thinking about dying, whisking them away on the vacation of their dreams. It gives them a chance to do that one thing they always wanted to do, but never got around to doing. The guide on this 'terminal tour' is Michael Keever. Except Michael Keever doesn't actually exist. He's a character from Tom LeClair's recent novel, Passing On. Nor does Terminal Tours itself exist. LeClair left some comments in the hoax museum…
Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004.   Comments (0)

Seize The Day, Then Die — I thought I had some strange teachers in my time, but none as strange as this Manchester teacher who told her students that a meteor was going to hit the earth in a week and they were all going to die. Her point: to motivate them to 'seize the day'. The logic seems to be 'make them think they're going to die so they appreciate what they have.' Kind of like that guy who tried to save his marriage by electrifying his wife in the bathtub. On a completely unrelated note, the widespread…
Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2004.   Comments (11)

Decomposition TV — Reality TV has definitely sunk to a new low. Reuters reports that Channel 4 in Britain is considering televising a human corpse as it decomposes. They're currently searching for volunteers willing to donate their body after they die. This reminds me of two things. The See Me Rot Decomposition Cam, and also that theater group that held auditions to get someone to donate their corpse.
Posted: Tue Nov 09, 2004.   Comments (15)

Woman Learns of Her Death in Iraq — I've heard about people who find their own obituaries mistakenly printed in papers, but I imagine that discovering you've been killed by Islamic militants in Iraq would be a little more off-putting. As the Associated Press reports: A woman was shocked to learn Friday that a photo of what appeared to be her old driver's license showed up on an Islamic Web site along with a claim that she had been captured in southern Iraq and slain. She's never been anywhere near Iraq, but she speculates…
Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004.   Comments (4)

Girl Gets Her Ride Pimped, Then Carjacked — An urban legend has been circulating about Pimp My Ride, the MTV show on which people get surprised by having their raggedy hoopties (read: old cars) transformed into tricked-out pimp-mobiles. I'll let this poster from the Elle.com forums describe the rumor, since she does it so much better than I could: okay remember the beloved episode of the girl Nile with the pink cadillac and they put the river in the back her car. i think it was like episode 2 or something. i was told that she…
Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004.   Comments (11)

Human Taxidermy — A recent article in the Phoenix New Times describes Phoenix-based Preserve A Life, a company that specializes in Humidermy... a.k.a. Human Taxidermy. If you can't stand the idea of cremating or burying your dearly departed, then Preserve A Life will freeze-dry and 'mount' them for you. Bring Granny back home and have her on display in the living room. You can pose the body in any position you want: "Children have been posed on bicycles and skateboards, grandmothers in rocking chairs,…
Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2004.   Comments (8)

Coffin Racing — According to local legend in Manitou Springs, Colorado (legend that may or may not be true), a young woman named Emma Crawford was once buried at the top of nearby Red Mountain. But during a rain storm, her coffin came loose and raced down the side of the mountain. To commemorate this event, residents of the town now hold an annual coffin racing contest through the center of town. A few pictures from yesterday's race can be seen here. I'm not sure who won.
Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2004.   Comments (13)

Man Dies, No One Notices — Yahoo News offers up this brief report about a British train conductor who "stamped and carefully returned the ticket of a slumbering passenger without realizing the man was dead." I guess people only realized the guy was dead once the train pulled into the station (York) and he failed to wake up. Now, by coincidence, I took this very same train last month, and the seats were pretty cramped, so either the train was quite empty, or whoever was sitting next to the dead guy was really…
Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2004.   Comments (7)

Who’s Buried in Yeats’ Grave? — William Butler Yeats is widely regarded as one of the greatest modern poets. He's also my favorite poet (and we happen to share a birthday!). When I spent a semester studying in Ireland fifteen years ago I made a special trip to visit his grave located just outside of Sligo. It's well worth a visit, even if you couldn't care less about Yeats, because the scenery there is stunning. But now I find out that Yeats may not occupy that grave. Instead, it may be a random Englishman named…
Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2004.   Comments (21)

Banana Straightener — German artist Karl-Friedrich Lentze has applied for a patent on his new invention: a banana-straightening device (thanks to Hairy Houdini for posting this in the hoax forum). Obviously this is just what the world needs. Basically Lentze's idea is to chop off the bent bits and then seal the banana back up with a "biologically safe plaster." Here are some of Lentze's other projects: He asked the Bonn City Council whether it would be possible for him to be buried with an inflatable sex…
Posted: Thu Oct 21, 2004.   Comments (3)

Fake LiveJournal Deaths — There's a LiveJournal community devoted to exposing fake LiveJournal deaths. I love it. You find cynical observations such as this: "you'll notice when visiting luna's journal that her dad died on August 8. He was immediately buried the next afternoon. In the meantime however, luna spent the hours posting bad poetry and stupid surveys." The Museum of Hoaxes also gets mentioned. Unfortunately it looks like they're configuring the community so that you'll now have to join it in order to…
Posted: Thu Aug 19, 2004.   Comments (0)

William Hung Not Dead Yet — I've noted before how popular celebrity death hoaxes have become. In fact, it's kind of like a weird sign of status for a celebrity to have their death falsely reported. It shows people care, in a sick and twisted way. Britney still leads the pack, having been killed in car crashes many times, but now American Idol anti-star William Hung has joined this elite group of prematurely-reported-dead celebrities. Reports of his death via heroin overdose have been spreading all around the…
Posted: Sat Aug 14, 2004.   Comments (89)

Thatcher Isn’t Dead — Margaret Thatcher isn't dead, despite what this elaborate mock-up of The Guardian claims. Nor is Stephen Hawking now going to speak in her voice.
Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2004.   Comments (6)

Andy Has Returned… And He’s Got A Weblog — I should never have doubted that Andy Kaufman wouldn't return. He's now back from the dead (or the faux dead), and he's started a weblog. Among the things he's learned while away: alien abductions are a hoax, and he's Ann Coulter's twin. (via J-Walk)
Posted: Mon May 17, 2004.   Comments (0)

Where’s Andy? — Today's the day Andy Kaufman is supposed to return from the dead... twenty years to the day after his 'death.' But it's only 5 pm here in California. He has a couple of hours left to make an appearance.
Posted: Sun May 16, 2004.   Comments (0)

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